Stop Reading if you’re a House of Cards fan and you haven’t gotten through the 7th episode of Season 5!
But if you have – you’ll recall that amid all the drama and deception, Frank, Claire and senior military and White House officials are suddenly whisked down to the bunker amid reports that a truck carrying radioactive cesium-137 sources has gone missing.
The scene begins when Secret Service agents rush into the Oval Office. “Madame President, we need to evacuate you now!”
Once safely ensconced behind thick steel doors underground, the team gets a readout from General Braeger: “Homeland received word from Cybercom that a truck carrying three cesium-137 irradiators missed two check points. It was supposed to be travelling from Atlanta back to the manufacturer in Baltimore … the truck’s GPS is offline.”
The FBI director goes on to explain that there is enough radiation on the truck to impact a 30-mile radius, and even if the cesium-137 is not weaponized, the misuse or mishandling of it could be disastrous. Frank asks how it could have happened, and Braeger reports that there has been some “increased chatter” from the series’ fictional terrorist group, ICO.
“If this is a dirty bomb,” Frank says grimly, “then we’ve entered into a different world.”
So – could something like this happen? Absolutely. House of Cards may be TV fiction, but the “dirty bomb” threat is real.